What Are YOU Doing This Summer?

By Cristina Scalzo

There are 13 days until school ends and everyone heads their own directions for summer break. For some of you, this may evoke feelings of excitement. For others, the lingering question of how to fill the four months of break is causing serious anxiety. There are many ways to fill the summer months: pool side tanning, late night bonfires, and spontaneous adventures with friends. However, I would encourage you to also consider taking advantage of this time to develop your career. Getting an internship, job, or participating in other productive summer activities does not mean losing those fun times with friends, it is simply a way to jump-start your future.

The key to finding an internship or job for the summer is to START NOW! It is not too late to begin looking for one. I know it may seem impossible to focus on getting a job or internship when finals are just around the corner, but trust me, it will be worth it!  And did you know that Career Services also provides a job posting site that is unique to University of Portland students? The employers listing jobs on this site are searching for students from our University…that means they want YOU! (Visit: http://www.collegecentral.com/up/).

Remember, Career Services is open for appointments all summer!
Remember, Career Services is open for appointments all summer!

Career Services provides career counselors who specialize in helping students find jobs and internships and even can help you prepare properly. From resume help to mock interviews, they can help get you into tip-top shape to land a summer job or internship.

Jobs and internships are the traditional routes to take, but not the only ones. There are endless ways you can productively spend your summer.

  • If you are a junior, the summer might be a good time to start thinking about graduate school applications. Creating a timeline for the application process can make your life so much easier. Keep in mind that some schools may require you to take a test, which should be scheduled far in advance. Also plan out who you want to do your recommendations and when you want them done by. Giving your reference a heads-up in advance allows them to spend extra time thinking about how best they can portray your wonderfulness (and also shows respect for their time).
  • Or, you can spend some time volunteering at a local shelter, food bank, or non-profit. One of my favorite places to volunteer here in the Portland area is the Rebuilding Center – an organization that focuses on recycling old materials to create a sustainable environment (http://rebuildingcenter.org/). If you are looking for a shelter, try Portland Homeless Family Solutions, a family shelter dedicated to help its residents build life skills and transition into permanent housing (http://pdxhfs.org/about-us/).
  • The summer is also the ideal time to develop your career by scheduling informational interviews with professionals in your field of study and by seeking out job shadowing opportunities, since you are free of the burden of papers, studying, and homework and might actually have a few hours of down time.

Lastly, make sure to do what you love. Further develop a passion of yours, or find a new hobby to pick up. Pursuing pastimes you’re truly interested in can lead to a great career down the road.

Career Profile: Rebecca Webb – Portland Radio Project

By Emily Neelon

Looking out at the Portland skyline from the window of the Portland Radio Project studio on the eighth floor of the Tiffany Tower, Rebecca Webb reflects on her 37 years in the radio business. “You make the best decisions that you can as you go along,” Webb said. Clearly, she made all the right decisions.

Webb graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Oregon in 1978, but she began as a theater and music double major. The accomplished journalist decided to switch her major to broadcast journalism her junior year of college when she realized it would provide a good fit for her outgoing, talkative personality. She began her radio career at KUGN in Eugene while she was finishing up her senior year, and was the only woman in the newsroom at the time. After a few years at KUGN, Webb moved up to Portland and has never looked back. She has worked as a radio personality and host for KINK and KATU as well as a host for KOINTV among other positions.

When Webb first began her career in broadcast journalism, radio stations were independently owned and connected to their communities. But since she first stepped into KUGN, Webb has watched owner consolidation moving radio stations away from their communities and onto an impersonal national platform. Unhappy with this transformation, Webb decided to pursue higher education and received a graduate degree in political science at Portland State University. Her 2011 thesis project focused on radio owner consolidation in Portland through the lens of democracy.

Webb’s passion for putting an end to radio consolidation in Portland catalyzed Portland Radio Project. Along with other radio veterans who shared her disappointment in the direction radio communications was headed, Webb founded PRP in a friend’s bedroom in the summer of 2013. With the goal of keeping radio local by featuring local artists, businesses, non-profits, and news, PRP has a different business model than any other station in the Portland metro area.

Since its founding almost two years ago, PRP has become a major presence in the Portland community. The station has moved from its bedroom beginnings to a space in Forge PDX in the Tiffany Tower in downtown Portland and has been awarded official non-profit status. Although the station currently streams exclusively online, PRP will be moving to the radio dial soon with a tentative launch date of May 1. Webb can’t believe how much her project has grown and looks forward to seeing where she and her team can take it.

Looking back on her long career in a field she loves and looking forward to the promising future PRP has awaiting, Webb believes much of her success has come from a combination of hard work and luck. She believes in order to be successful in any career, it’s important to pursue opportunities fully and treat volunteer or internship positions with the same dedication as paid positions. For students hoping to pursue a career in radio, she emphasizes the ability to be creative and think outside of the box. With the communication field developing so quickly, Webb suggests gaining as much education as possible throughout one’s life.

Review: Don Asher’s Life Launch

By Cristina Scalzo

“Hello boys and girls!” If you can get past Don Asher’s overly peppy introductions and the fact that he randomly pops on a wig here and there, then the Life Launch video series is the one for you. All kidding aside, I highly recommend this video series, no matter where you are in your personal career development. Don Asher – writer, speaker, and career counselor – has created a 9-step process to help college students and job seekers begin their careers. Topics from interviewing to the hidden job market are covered in an extremely helpful but also entertaining way.

The series contains nine “badges” one must earn to receive the certificate of completion (and yes, you may list this certificate on your resume). To earn each badge, one must watch a short video clip, take a 4 question quiz, and submit three facts they learned about the topic. Each section also contains corresponding readings from Don Asher’s own books, which we conveniently have available to read in Career Services! It is easy to buzz through the badges, as each topic only takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. What is really crazy though is how much useful information is covered in this short amount of time. After completing all of the badges, I feel immensely more knowledgeable about how to begin my career. And with many of you looking for summer jobs and seniors headed out into the “real world” in just a few weeks, this video series is a great place to gather information and tips. So push past Don Asher’s quirkiness and give this video series a try: http://www.ashercareerlaunch.com/.

First Avenue Career Expo is TOMORROW!

First Avenue 2015 ADvantage (Landscape)

The OLAPC First Avenue Career & Graduate School Expo is tomorrow, Thursday, April 9 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm in the Chiles Center.

Go to https://olapcfirstavenue.org to view a list of attending organizations.

“Link In Live: Real People, Real Connections” will take place from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm as a part of the Career Expo. This is a unique opportunity to connect with professionals representing a variety of organizations, including many alumni from UP. Sign up for this event when you register for the First Avenue Career Expo!

Career Fairs: Be In the Know Before You Go

Preparation is key to career fair success: steps every job seeker should take before and during a career event to enhance their candidacy. Below is a presentation that provides an over view for how to prepare for the First Avenue Career Expo on Thursday, April 9th: 

How to Stand Out At a Career Fair – USA Today

College Central Podcasts: Career Fairs – Be In the Know Before You: http://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/27260/35257615

Please contact Career Services at 503.943.7201 or career@up.edu if you have any questions. We hope to see you at the Career Expo on Thursday, April 9th.

A Guide to Employer Communication

By Emily Neelon

All of us want to establish a good relationship with our boss. Being on good terms with your employer will not only allow you to enjoy your job, but may lead to future career advancement. While some employers are laid-back and cultivate camaraderie with their employees, others want to sustain a strictly professional relationship.

When starting a new job it can be difficult to discern the line between friendliness and professionalism. How much of your life outside of work should you share with your boss? What is the protocol for bringing up issues you have? Is it appropriate to ask for feedback or criticism on your projects? How can you come to understand the way your employer communicates?

Here are some tips for establishing and maintaining a good relationship with your employer:

-Look to your boss as a mentor, rather than a friend. This person can help you advance your career and by asking for feedback and constructive criticism on your work performance, you have the opportunity to better yourself professionally.

-Learn how to read your boss’ body language. By gauging the mood your employer is in, you can avoid upsetting them when they are agitated or annoyed. By reading the way they communicate non-verbally, you determine when the best time is to pitch new ideas or ask for that feedback you’re looking for.

-Value your boss’ time. Your employer hired you because they believed you would be a great fit for their company or organization, so make sure to follow through on the promise by presenting quality work to your boss. If they take the time to meet with you, make sure to be prepared and mentally present.

-Be honest with your boss. If you make a mistake, be accountable and take the blame, and take steps to avoid similar mistakes in the future.

-Get to know your boss. It’s not appropriate to ask them extremely personal questions about their lives outside the office, but it’s a good idea to know their likes and dislikes, their interests, and what drives them.

-Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not around your boss because you will come off as unauthentic.

-Offer up your help with projects when possible. Your boss is probably really busy, so they will appreciate your offer to take something off their plate. Even if they do not accept your offer, your boss will recognize your drive and ambition.

Finding a Work/Life Balance

By Emily Neelon

I’ll be the first to admit it. I’m a workaholic. I take every opportunity that comes my way, even if I know I don’t have the time to give that opportunity my full effort. My indecisiveness leads me to plunge myself head first into project after project after project in the hopes of finding something I truly love to do. This tendency towards taking on too many projects has left me feeling stretched far too thin.

When I got to UP my freshman year of college, I immediately applied to every job listed on the student job board. I talked to my advisor about possible majors and minors in addition to my primary major in communication studies. I went to internship fairs so I could see what was out there even though I was too young to be considered for hire.

To a lot of people, my ambition seems like a great personality trait. But when paired with my indecisiveness, it gets me into situations I can no longer manage or control. I’ve ceased to maintain a work/life balance and after walking through the last year in a daze of stress and exhaustion, I’ve finally realized I need to find it again.

My first step towards finding this balance was quitting one of my jobs. I had never quit anything before and it felt like I was giving up. But with a new mindset of finding balance, I understood the importance of choosing to pursue only what I really enjoyed doing.

My second step was dropping my secondary major in English to a minor. I realized that I cannot complete a double concentration in Communication Studies while double majoring in English and minoring in Social Justice. I already must work two, three, four times as hard as my peers to do well in school. It is not realistic for me to take 21 credits a semester.

My third and final step was settling on working one job over the summer versus two. I came to the realization that I have my whole life to gain work experience and I should use summer as a period of time to re-energize after a very difficult school year.

These steps were not easy for me to take. Even as I filled out the forms to drop my major to a minor, I considered adding another minor to my already heavy course load. Even as I approached the end of my current internship, I thought about all the possible internships I’d like to pursue before I graduate. Even as I settled on working one job during break, I couldn’t stop my mind from wandering into all of the other opportunities I could be missing.

So how can you figure out how to find work/life balance? How can you determine to pursue what you love rather that what you like?

This spring, take some time to evaluate your current commitments and decide what career development steps make sense for you.
This spring, take some time to evaluate your current commitments and decide what career development steps make sense for you.

There were various sources that helped me make these jumps. One was taking a variety of different classes outside my major to help me determine what I’m truly interested in learning about. I figured out I wanted to pursue a minor in Social Justice because it makes me excited and angry. When talking about social justice issues, I transform from an introverted and polite girl sitting in the back row quietly taking notes, to an outspoken, passionate girl hoping to make changes in her local community. This sense of excitement helped me discern what I love and therefore lighten my load in order to find balance.

Another source of balance was cutting back on extra jobs I did not enjoy doing. I dreaded going to work and had come to hate a job I once loved. But by having an honest conversation with myself about why I was still working this job, I came to realize it was no longer aiding my career advancement, it was hindering it.

A final source is attending career-related events and engaging in informational interviews. By figuring out what interested me and what didn’t I was able to cut back on my intrinsic need to take every job opportunity that comes my way. With new knowledge about different industries, I was able to find balance.

Don’t get me wrong. Accountability is incredibly important. Following through with what you’ve committed to is a necessary part of learning to be an adult. So finish off the semester strong. Study hard and study smart. You have four more weeks of classes. If your internship or job ends in May, leave having accomplished all you set out to succeed.

But as sunshine and summer set in, take time to really contemplate what you want and how much you can realistically accomplish. Take advantage of the resources available through Career Services to discover your career passions and find that balance you have been striving for.

Dealing With Job Search Stress

By Briana Rossi

At a recent Wellness Wednesday event held by the Health Services Center’s interns, we worked on reducing the stress and anxiety in our lives. It was agreed that finding a job was a major cause of stress. Not knowing where to start, trying to gain experience with no experience, rejection, negotiating salary, feeling underqualified, and the application process are just a few things that cause people stress in their job search. As someone who has experienced this stress over and over, I hope that sharing the advice I’ve been given will help you to reduce the stress and frustration that can come from trying to find a job.

A fantastic place to start your search is to talk to people you know: parents, relatives, friends, previous coworkers or bosses, professors and UP staff are all great resources. When they ask that awful question, “What are your plans for the summer/after graduation/the future?” use the opportunity to let them know that you are in the process of looking and ask them if they have any advice. Letting people know that you are looking for a job gives them the chance to give you insights into the job market or offer help with the application process, and they might think of you if a position opens up in an organization they know. Don’t rely on them to do the job search for you, though. Take initiative and intently listen to the advice that you are given. We are at a time when people want to help and offer their advice because they know what it is like to be a young professional.

Don’t expect that filling out job postings online will be enough. It might be easier to just fill out that application online and send it off without any human interaction, but talking to people is a huge part of actually getting the job. One of the best things that I have done in my job search has been meeting people for informational interviews. You get the inside scoop from employees, expand your network, and get your foot in the door so when you submit your application materials you aren’t as much of a stranger. If you find a job posting online, feel free to contact the hiring manager to ask to learn more about the job to get some of the same benefits.

Between classes, activities, homework, and social activities it might seem like you have no time to search for a job, which can be very stressful. Some great advice I was given was to treat your job search like a class or job in itself. Set aside a specific block of time each week and use it as a time for your search. Assign yourself tasks and goals to make sure you use that block of time efficiently. Knowing that you have a block of time scheduled will help to reduce some stress and manage your time better.

Know that finding a job is a long process. Most people don’t have a realistic timeline and when they don’t see immediate results it is easy to get frustrated or stressed. It takes weeks to months to find a job.  Networking, completing applications, reviewing application materials, interviews, and much more goes into the hiring process and all of it can take a lot of time, so start your search before you think you need to. Even if you get an interview, it is important to continue looking and applying. Don’t stop until you have received an acceptable job offer.

Dealing with job search stress? Stop by during Express Advising in Career Services to find out how to take control of the job search process.
Dealing with job search stress? Stop by during Express Advising in Career Services to find out how to start taking control of the process.

One of the most frustrating and difficult parts of the job search is having a great interview and then finding out that you didn’t get the job. Rejection is rough, but don’t take it personally.  Know that the organization might be hiring internally and just following protocol, or that they found someone more experienced or a better fit for their office. If you feel like you didn’t present your best self to the hiring manager, reflect on ways you could improve for your next interview.

Job search stress is something that everyone has to deal with, so don’t feel alone in your search, and know there are lots of resources to help you feel more in control of the process. I cannot emphasize enough how helpful the staff at Career Services are with helping students with their job searches. Scheduling a meeting can be that first step in getting your search on the right track. Don’t be a stranger to the office; if you have been struggling with your search for a while or are just starting from scratch, there is help here!